Visit these fairytale destinations, and see the real places that inspired storytellers to create famous fairy tales, including Sleeping Beauty, The Lion King and Snow White.
Fleeing the Midwest winters, <i>The Wonderful Wizard of Oz</i> author L. Frank Baum spent time soaking up the Southern California sunshine at the fairytale-like Hotel del Coronado . In fact, it's been said that the "Emerald City" of Coronado inspired another -- the magical land of Oz. The author was allegedly inspired by the hotel's lush green grounds and famous red turrets while writing several books in the series there. Inside the soaring tower, guests can still see the 4 crown-shaped chandeliers designed by Baum. Visitors can also stroll past the quaint yellow house he rented during his stays.
Visit the southwest region of Bavaria, Germany, to see the castle that inspired the Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA. Neuschwanstein Castle, a retreat for Ludwig II of Bavaria, was designed to pay homage to German composer Richard Wagner.
Hakuna matata! Relive the magic of “The Lion King,” and travel to the Serengeti in Africa. The 12,000-square-mile region extends from north Tanzania into southwestern Kenya. Lions, wildebeests, gazelles, zebras and buffalos are some of the wildlife in the popular safari destination.
Germany’s charming town of Lohr is said to have helped inspire the Brothers Grimm’s epic story of Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs. Lohr, located between Würzburg and Aschaffenburg in Bavaria, an area wealthy in spinning magical tales. The Main River borders the town which is also surrounded on all 3 sides by the dense and intensely green Spessart Forest.
After a trip to the Chateau de Chambord, the creators of “Beauty and the Beast” decided to revamp the initial version of the film. One of the changes was to make the real-life castle the fairytale home of the Beast. Be the belle of the ball and visit the largest chateau in the France’s Loire Valley. King Francois I constructed the castle to be near his mistress Comtesse de Thoury, Claude Rohan. You really can’t tell from the outside, but the castle was never completed.
Take a magic carpet ride to Baghdad, a city that has inspired storytellers to write fairy tales about genies and magic lamps. Even though it’s not known as a popular travel destination, Iraq’s capital city is one of several locations mentioned in the Arabian folktale “One Thousand and One Nights.” It also inspired the exciting adventures of Disney characters Aladdin and Princess Jasmine.
In a dog’s world, New Haven, CT, might be the perfect getaway for puppy love. The New England town is where love bloomed for Disney’s star-crossed lovers, Lady and the Tramp.
Ziegenhain, considered the capital city of Germany’s Fairy Tale Road, is also home to Little Red Riding Hood. Travelers visiting the city will see residents in costume, including red hoods. Prior to the Brothers Grimm and Disney’s interpretations, Little Red Riding Hood was a violent moral tale designed to keep young women on a righteous path. Even though there have been several versions of the folktale, we still have a few words of wisdom --beware the wolf.
Authors Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm are well-known story tellers, whose work include “Cinderella,” “Rumpelstiltskin, “The Frog Prince” and “Hansel and Gretel.” The Brothers Grimm Memorial is located in Hanau, Germany, and it’s also the starting point for the German Fairy Tale Road. The fun, road trip route runs from Hanau to Bremen, where the Jacob and Wilhelm were born. Tourist attractions along the road are focused around the famous brothers.
The famous words, “Repunzel, Repunzel, let down your hair,” were uttered from the tower of the Trendelburg Castle aka Repunzel’s Tower --or at least that’s according to the Brothers Grimm’s folktale. Located in the Germany’s Hesse region near the Diemel River, Trendelburg is home to just over 5,000 people. The Trendelburg Fortress dates back to the 1300s and is now a hotel and restaurant. It’s a great pit stop if you’re traveling along Fairy Tale Road.
Make your dreams come true, and visit Disney World in Orlando, FL. The fairytale amusement park was designed to inspire kids of all ages with uniquely themed areas, including Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. Walt Disney brought famous fairy tales to life at his franchise of family-friendly theme parks.
We can’t forget about Hans Christian Andersen, the renowned author who wrote several children stories, including “The Snow Queen,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Thumbelina,” “The Little Match Girl” and “The Ugly Duckling .” Fans of Hans can visit an entire museum --located in Copenhagen, Denmark-- dedicated to the famous storyteller.